Here Come OTAs! And Other Bears Bullets

bears halas
bears halas

Are you suuuuure we need to have Mondays? Isn’t there a way to add another day to our weekends? After all, time is just a human construct. Maybe this is something I can bring up with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who would surely love another day to market games on a weekly basis.

  • Organized Team Activities a.k.a. OTAs begin today for the Chicago Bears and 19 other NFL teams. NFL media’s Kevin Patra lays out what to expect in this particular phase:
  • Phase Three of the NFL’s collectively bargained offseason workout regimen allows teams to get on the field for non-contact practices in the form of OTAs. Phase Three consists of four weeks of practices with no pads (except knee and elbow pads and helmets) and no live contact. Teams are permitted to run 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills sans contact.

    While it’s still players running around in shorts, OTAs mark the next step in the offseason program as players gear up for a new season. 

  • The ramp-up continues. However, it does so with limitations. I’m looking forward to hearing nuggets and tidbits about what goes on in 7-on-7 drills and whatnot. Who’s lining up where? How are the rookies integrating with the vets? Whose stock is climbing? Are there corresponding falling stocks? Which under-the-radar player will stake an early claim to being the offseason fan favorite that no one would dare cut because superstar potential is on the horizon if you squint hard enough. It’ll get silly, to be sure. But I’m opening my arms to silly season in May while we still can
  • Even still … there is no practice with pads. And there can’t be live contact. So we can’t get too carried away. But the slow and steady climb that comes with non-contact practice is kin to getting a sliver of cornbread before my pops throws the rest of it into the turkey dressing. These voluntary team activities aren’t mandatory, so expecting everyone to check in would be foolish. But you’ll see many of the main characters (unless they’re having contract disputes).
  • Here is an important reminder: The roster of folks we see at Halas Hall now won’t necessarily be the same one we see when training camp opens this summer. From 5-22-22 until 7-27-22 when camp opened, the Bears signed DL Mike Pennel (6-13), DB Jayson Stanley (6-21), OL Michael Schofield (7-25), and OT Riley Reiff (7-26). They also traded for WR N’Keal Harry (7-13) because there is never a bad time to execute a trade. And as a refresher that transaction avenue is a two-way street, they also released LB Jeremiah Attaochu (6-13) and waived LS Antonio Ortiz (7-13). In other words, don’t get too comfortable with this roster. It’ll change between now and when we get to training camp.
  • I think Marc Sessler nails the Bears’ situation as being better, but not good enough with this sentiment:
  • The Bears made plenty of progress on paper, but who will rush the passer this fall? Chicago failed to draft an edge rusher after ending last season with a league-low 20 sacks. Defensive-minded head coach Matt Eberflus can’t be thrilled with free-agent pickup DeMarcus Walker — with 19.5 sacks in six seasons — doubling as the club’s top dog. General manager Ryan Poles would be wise to chase down the likes of Frank Clark or Yannick Ngakoue before the competition comes calling. 

  • We’ve discussed Ngakoue as a fit and Clark as a potential match (albeit with red flags) at length in various places. And het, we’re still waiting for the Bears to address defensive line needs.
  • FWIW: History has an odd way of repeating itself. At this time last year, we were awaiting any type of receiver or offensive line help that could come our way. It didn’t come until later in the summer. And it didn’t even come in a splashy way. Nevertheless, we saw the Bears wait out the free-agent OL market with vets (Reiff and Schofield). And we also witnessed GM Ryan Poles go about unearthing receiver help by acquiring a change-of-scenery candidate (Harry) via trade. Maybe we’re set to re-live that again, but with defensive ends.
  • On the one hand, Ndamukong Suh technically fits as someone who plays a position the Bears need to fill. But on the other hand, Suh says he has “no desire to be in a training camp” (h/t PFT) and I don’t think that would fly with this team. There’s very much an all-hands-on-deck vibe emanating from Halas Hall and Suh’s declaration that he wants no part of training camp would undermine that concept. Then again, if I had a third hand, signing Suh would keep him from executing dirty hits on yet another Bears quarterback. So … maybe we should hear him out? Nah…
  • Way to go, Cole:
  • Justin Fields’ numbers when targeting Kmet (2021-22): 73/108, 779 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT, 95.4 passer rating. Let these two keep cooking!
  • You never know what you’ll see in Chicago:
  • If the Cubs are going to get out of their rut, they’ll need to win the Justin Steele starts. (BN Cubs)
  • Heroes get remembered, but legends never die:
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

    more bears news

    WATCH: Tom Brady’s Epic Hall of Fame Speech

    The New England Patriots retired Tom Brady's number and enshrined him into the team's Hall of Fame. Given the numbers he put up with the Pats and the Super Bowl titles he won, that was always going to happen. He...

    The Chicago Bears Have a New Return Specialist

    We're about 24 hours removed from the Chicago Bears hosting their final practice of the OTA program, and the team has already made an addition to the roster with eyes on Training Camp 2024. Prepare yourself to welcome wide receiver...

    Final OTAs, Kmet Fantasy Stock Watch, Do You Remember Marcus Robinson? And Other Bears Bullets

    That the 100th show of Taylor Swift's "The Eras Tour" falls on the 13th of a month has me on high alert. With that in mind, I should probably just power through Bears Bullets. Plus, there is a bunch of...

    The NFL Just Dropped a Punishment on the Falcons For Tampering in Free Agency

    Do you recall that former Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace found himself in the middle of the Atlanta Falcons free agency tampering case? Well, finally, punishment is being handed out to the Falcons for their wrongdoings in tampering with free...

    Keenan Allen Reportedly Makes a Major Change as He Seeks a New Contract

    Whether it comes from the Chicago Bears or one of the NFL's other 31 teams, Keenan Allen will reportedly have new representation trying to iron out a deal. NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero has details on the news of Bears...

    Rome Odunze Has Major Goals Set For His Rookie Season

    This seems like a good time of year to set lofty goals for yourself. And when it comes to Chicago Bears rookie Rome Odunze, the bar he is setting is high. It's not as if he has to look far...

    Kevin Warren Provides an Update on Bears Stadium Situation

    The spring session of the Illinois state legislature came to a close with the Chicago Bears stadium situation being no closer to a resolution. And yet, Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren has faith that a deal will get done...

    Bears QB Caleb Williams Launches Investment Firm

    Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Williams came to Chicago already wealthy, thanks to the millions he made in NIL money while at USC. He will sign a sizeable contract with the Chicago Bears in the coming weeks. If we know...

    Around the NFL: Aaron Rodgers Skips Jets Minicamp, Joe Burrow’s Brush with “Football Mortality” Sparks Growth, More

    NFL Notes — Aaron Rodgers skips Jets minicamp, creating an unnecessary distraction that will ultimately decide nothing for them on the field this season. Plus, Joe Burrow's brush with football mortality sparks a new, matured mindset for the Bengals QB....

    Tight End Talk, Love Has Thoughts, What’s Up with the D-Line? And Other Bears Bullets

    Waking up to the news of Jerry West's death stung a little. But the legend lived a full life. To get 86 years on this plane of existence means you likely weren't cheated. If I'm lucky enough to get 86...

    Latest News

    Minnesota Timberwolves Mock Draft: Building Depth and Versatility with 2 Unique Picks

    The Minnesota Timberwolves head into the 2024 NBA Draft with a clear goal: bolstering their roster and taking another step forward in the competitive Western Conference. This Minnesota Timberwolves Mock Draft focuses on adding the best player available. With the...

    Friday’s MLB Computer Picks & Best Bets – June 14

    The Philadelphia Phillies versus the Baltimore Orioles is a game to watch on a Friday MLB schedule that features 15 competitive contests. Want best bets? You're in luck.MLB picks todaySt. Louis Cardinals at Chicago CubsGame infoWhen: 2:20 PM ETWhere: Wrigley...

    Diamondbacks vs. Angels Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Thursday, June 13, 2024

    The Arizona Diamondbacks (32-36) are -191 favorites to take Game 3 of th series from the Los Angeles Angels (26-41) Thursday at 9:40 PM ET. The teams enter the matchup with the series record tied, and the underdog Angels are...

    Mariners vs. White Sox Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Thursday, June 13, 2024

    The Seattle Mariners (40-30) hope to complete a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox (17-52) when the teams meet at 9:40 PM ET Thursday. The Mariners are -116 favorites to keep the White Sox out of the win column...

    Dodgers vs. Rangers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Thursday, June 13, 2024

    The Los Angeles Dodgers (42-27) and the Texas Rangers (32-35) meet in the rubber match of a three-game series on Thursday at 10:10 PM ET. The Dodgers are -195 favorites on the moneyline to win the series over the Rangers...

    Pittsburgh Pirates 1st Round Mock Draft: Exploring Potential Picks

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to make their first-round selection in the 2024 MLB Draft with the 9th overall pick. Jun 5, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Paul Skenes (30) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles...

    Cleveland Guardians 1st Round Mock Draft: Exploring Potential Picks

    The Cleveland Guardians are set to make their first-round selection in the 2024 MLB Draft with the 1st overall pick. Photo: Getty Images Exploring Potential Fits for the Cleveland Guardians in the 1st Round of the 2024 MLB Draft At...

    How to Win FREE Rooftop Tickets to a Cubs Game with the Bleacher Nation Team and Howard Ankin!

    Back in 2021, when I was still living in the city up on the North Side of Chicago, I had a bike. And I liked to ride that bike south-east down Clybourn towards this little rock climbing gym in Lincoln...

    Cincinnati Reds 1st Round Mock Draft: Exploring Potential Picks

    The Cincinnati Reds are set to make their first-round selection in the 2024 MLB Draft with the 2nd overall pick. Cincinnati Reds mascot, Mr. Redlegs, is dressed for Star Wars night before the first inning of a baseball game between...

    The Chicago Bears Have a New Return Specialist

    We're about 24 hours removed from the Chicago Bears hosting their final practice of the OTA program, and the team has already made an addition to the roster with eyes on Training Camp 2024. Prepare yourself to welcome wide receiver...

    more bears news